Stud-finders are just the worst. In my experience, they tend to beep more or less at random, never sounding off in the same spot more than once. Sinking a nail into my wall is generally more faith than science. A better option: an in-wall imager, which uses radar to paint a picture of the inside of your wall on a small screen, identifying internal elements in the process. The only problem is that they're generally on the pricey side. But right now, you can grab the Walabot In-Wall Imager for just $38.65 at Amazon -- that's 48% off the regular price of $75.
The Walabot works in conjunction with an Android phone (sorry, it's not iOS compatible). It attaches to the back of the phone, effectively turning the screen into a display for the Walabot. The imager detects wood and metal studs, metal pipes, electric cables and wiring through drywall and concrete to a depth of about four inches.
The Android app has several scanning modes. You can perform a quick pass to get a general impression of what's behind the wall, and then scan more thoroughly to identify studs, pipes and wires. The app can also measure the distance between objects behind the wall and zero in on the centerline of studs.
This is such a perfect gift for Dad that I'm inclined to grab one and store it away for six months so I'm already prepared for Father's Day.
This article was published previously. It has been updated to reflect the most accurate pricing.
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